You can use these steps to provide effective supportive coaching to your employees.
- Start with the Power of Belief. Your confidence in your employee’s ability can go a long way to becoming an effective coach. People know when you don’t believe or have confidence in them. Ask him or her for help in solving a problem or ask them to search for a solution. Ask the employee to join in with you with the goal of increasing the employees’ effectiveness as a contributor to your organization.
- Describe the performance disconnect with the employee. Do you have any data to share to start the discussion? Don’t tell them about the data, ask them to interpret it. In a performance issue there is always data. Ask the question “what does the data mean to you?” This will reveal the employee’s perspective. Do they see the same problem or opportunity that you do?
- What is causing the performance challenge. There are 3 simple words to get to the heart of this matter. Will, Hill or Skill? Does the employee have the willingness or the will to do the task? Is there some type of obstacle a.k.a. the hill? Or does the employee lack the talent or the skill to accomplish the task? Every employee performance issue will fall into one of these three categories.
- Ask the employee for ideas on how to correct the problem, or prevent it from happening again. With your stars you want to improve their performance with the average performer you want to work on how to move towards continuous improvement.
- Have the employee write out an agreed upon action plan that lists what the employee will do to correct the problem or improve the situation. Pick specific goals and targets to measure success and gives you a tool to track progress.
- Follow up. If you don’t follow up, you are drifting towards failure. You are drifting because your plan is now a rudderless ship. Set a date and time for follow-up. Offer positive encouragement. Express confidence in the employee’s ability to improve. But recognize they have to do it. You can’t do it for them. You can coach them to success, but they must work towards success.